Another spotlight! This time we’re lucky enough to talk to every member of The Bastard Sons, a quite recently formed (October 2011) York blues-metal band. We have vocalist JJ Jackson, guitarists Ollie Dykes and Alex McNair, bassist Nathan Wright, and drummer Rich Hardy – the whole package! They talk to us (with their great sense of humour) about the band’s origin, writing style, and future. Enjoy!
S] How did The Bastard Sons come to form and what was the idea behind the band name?
J] “The Bastard Sons was a name I came up with before I even had the members to start the band; I just knew what we were about to create needed a bad-ass name!”
R] “JJ was moving back to York after being at university in Newcastle. Him, Ollie, and me got together to have a jam and see if there was a spark, and we ended up writing ‘In Case Of Emergency’ at that jam! We thought it was worth spending more time on, so we set out to find a bassist and another guitarist to complete the line-up!”
S] To say you formed your band as of late 2011, you’ve received quite a lot of attention quite quickly. Did you ever expect this to happen or has it come as a bit of shock?
J] “For me it’s been a massive shock! I’ve been in bands for years and I have never had this kind of reception in any of them so quickly!”
A] “The same as JJ; I’ve been in a lot of bands, and never had anything like this. It’s surprising but very welcome.”
S] You have previously been compared to the likes of Every Time I Die and Fight Paris. Do you think this is fair? What kinds of bands would you say have influenced your style, if any?
R] “That’s fine by me ‘cos I love both of those bands! Everyone in the band has so many different influences. We try not to set out and write a song like another band, or sound like anyone else, but influences always creep in a little.”
N] “It’s great to be compared to the bands that we love but at the same time we aim to have our own sound, put our own mark on the music.”
O] “It’s awesome! It’s a bit like being an actor and being compared to your favourite actor. Nicholas Cage, he’s fantastic!”
S] How did your record deal with Lockjaw Records come about?
J] “We supported The Fear at their album launch [being released by Lockjaw Records], it was only our second show. We got chatting to the guys from Lockjaw after the show and it just went from there!”
S] What gigs that you have done really stand out to you as memorable, for one reason or another?
R] “My most memorable was our first show when we supported RSJ; I was pretty nervous but also really excited to show people what we were about!”
N] “Our EP launch, it was great to see so many people come out to show their support and appreciate what we’re doing. Plus it was my stag do that night so there was plenty of alcohol flowing!”
A] “I agree with Nath; to get such an overwhelming response to only our sixth ever show, and first headline show, was amazing. The shows with Turbowolf and Edward In Venice are also worth mentioning, two totally different, but equally great bands!”
O] “I enjoyed the shows with the free Jagermeister!”
S] Is there a song that you feel like perfectly showcases where you are at now, as a band?
A] “’Hot Town’ because it combines all the elements I love about this band. Groovy riffs but with metal influences blended in.”
O] “’Salem’s Rot’ is my favourite so far, it’s got a good mix of everything we do and seems to stick in everyone’s mind.”
S] Was there any particular idea or theme behind the debut EP ‘Bones’?
J] “The main thing is we just wanted to get the songs out to people and introduce The Bastard Sons to the world. We didn’t really think of a particular theme or force it to be a certain way; we just let it happen naturally.”
S] You worked with Dave Boothroyd (The Fear) on the production of EP. What was it like working with him?
A] “100% terrible. Only joking! It was great to work with someone we all knew so well, and who understood the sound we were trying to achieve.”
R] “Working with Dave was great! He knew exactly what we wanted and made sure everything went smoothly. The only thing I would change is the timescale. We gave ourselves a very tight deadline so there was a lot of late nights and early mornings, mainly from Dave. He did himself, and us, proud though! I would definitely recommend him to anyone else!”
S] Are there any people that you would love to work with on future records?
R] “There’s so many people we would love to work with! Personally, I love the production side of the studio, I would like to be a little more ‘hands on’ in the studio with the next release. It would be interesting to get some guest musicians on a couple of songs in the future. On Bones, there’s a few that no one really knows about (members of theFallen and RSJ helped with the gang vocals). But yeah, we would love to experiment a little more with different musicians, as for who, well that’s a secret for now…”
S] Do you have any ultimate goals as a band, or do you just see wait to see what life throws at you?
R] “Keep playing, keep writing and keep loving what we’re doing! It’s honestly the best band I have been in; everyone is on the same page, we know when to be professional and get down to business, but at the same time we’re all idiots that make stupid jokes and think we’re hilarious! Just put us in a room with a case of beer and we’ll happily prove it!”
J] “I’m happy to see where everything goes! I’m a strong believer in visioning where you want to be and working to achieve it, and if we keep going and working we will be doing big things.”
O] “I thought of this once and thought it was pretty original, ‘people say ‘I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one’. I made that up, no one else has ever said it, pretty good huh?! [yep….err, awesome… – editor’s note]”
N] “I have a dream…”
S] Any new projects lined up? Plans for 2013?
A] “2013 is about doing more of the same. We’ve had a great time so far and we just want that to continue.”
R] “Writing, writing, writing! For 2013 we’re booking more shows, hopefully there’s a couple of tours in there! There are talks of a trip to Ireland and Scotland, and possibly even a trip to mainland Europe. At some point there might be a new EP, maybe even an album. We’re just taking it as it comes, concentrating on writing new songs and playing shows!”
J] “The Bastard Sons are still young and we want it to grow naturally, gain more experience as a whole, and be a well travelled band! And maybe get some more of our music onto a new CD for you all to hear!”
O] “As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, ‘I’m just gonna keep on running…’”
A] “That makes no sense…”
O] “I know…”